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New Intermodal Trade Channel Connecting West China with South Asia

By VIVIAN YANICHONGQING|Jun 19,2022

Chongqing- A test train of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) international intermodal train, from Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality to South Asia via Tibet, carrying clothing and daily necessities departed from Tuanjiecun Station recently.

A test train of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor international intermodal train, from Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality to South Asia via Tibet, departed recently. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Passed through Shigatse, transferred to the highway, and exited from Gyirong Port, the train will be headed to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, opening up a new channel for the trade between Chongqing and South Asian countries.

According to Wang Yupei, chairman of the New Land-sea Corridor Operation Center, this train serves as the first international freight train from Chongqing to South Asian countries. It transported up to 10 large containers of goods, with a total distance of over 4,200 kilometers in 12 to 14 days, about 20 days faster than that of the previous shipping method.

Commercial ties with Nepal

Since the year 2020, China and Nepal have joined hands to fight the COVID-19 epidemic, and further enhanced their mutual trust and friendship. China also has close commercial ties with Nepal. 

According to the information provided by the Department of Commerce of Tibet Autonomous Region Commerce, Nepal has long been Tibet’s largest trading partner. In 2021, the import and export trade value between Nepal and Tibet was 1.797 billion yuan (about 268 million U.S. dollars), a year-on-year increase of 37.4%, accounting for 69.4% of Tibet’s trade value with countries along the Belt and Road.

Additionally, Chongqing and surrounding provincial-level regions have all established good trade relations with Nepal. The goods transported this time are also from the coastal areas in South China.

The launch of this train not only provides a motivation to deepen the economic and trade cooperation between Nepal and Tibet, but also strengthens the interconnection between Chongqing and Tibet, as well as enhances the economic and trade cooperation between Chongqing with Nepal and other South Asian countries.

International transportation

The International Highway-Railway Intermodal, as an important supplement to the backbone land transportation channels, including the China Railway Express to Europe and the China-Laos Railway, is playing an increasingly significant role in international transportation.

China-Laos Railway

China-Laos Railway. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Wang said that in the future, the company will actively organize the goods sourced from Chongqing, surrounding regions, and overseas areas, so as to facilitate international transportation.

He continued that the company will also promote the entire and normalized dispatch of the train, and the normalized operation of two-way trains, to further strengthen the cooperation between China and Nepal as well as more South Asian countries in trade, industry, and so on.

(Ge Rongchen, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)

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